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Grigor Minchev vs Yordan Stoynov
? (1991)
Four Knights Game: Halloween Gambit (C46)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-27-03  Rookpawn: The opening has a befitting name: "The Halloween Attack."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I have a friend who plays this opening against computers with a near-perfect record. They can't understand how you must be willing to give the material back in order to develop. Instead computers tend to squirm randomly on the 6th and 8th ranks, with their rooks still in corners, as White attempts to push him clear off the board.

With all that in mind, I really am unimpressed by Kramnik and Kasparov's recent displays against computers. I think the strength of modern computers is vastly overrated. If Kramnik played this line against Deep Fritz it wouldn't have even been a contest.

Apr-28-03  Rookpawn: <Sneaky> Clearly, computers have a relatively inferior positional understanding. One instance of this is a position with completely blocked pawns. (Like: White pawns on a4, b5, c4, d5, e4, f5, g4, and h5. Black pawns on a5, b6, c5, d6, e5, f6, g5, and h6.) If Black had a lone king on say e8, and White had a king on e1 and two rooks on a1 & h1, a computer would analyze the position as a winning adv. for White. Humans, however, would know that White had no way to break through, as White cannot even sacrifice and force black to accept.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: Exactly my point!! So why can't Kasparov and Kramnik make mockeries of these iron-idiots?

The conspiracy theories surrounding these man-machine matches are starting to sound pretty logical to me. The Fritz / Deep Junior people aren't going to spend all the money on a big worldwide event if their machine ends up looking like a jackass.

Apr-29-03  Rookpawn: No wonder many players play "anti-computer" positional openings like the King's Indian Attack.
Nov-02-03  popski: Maybe Kasparov and Kramnik never heard of this opening?!
Nov-02-03  Benjamin Lau: Sneaky, though the Halloween attack would certainly work against some weak computer programs, I don't know if it would be sound against the high end computer programs today, especially if the hardware is good. Deep Junior and Deep Fritz are the top 2 computer programs and had a play strength around 2800 ELO and during the match with Kasparov and Kramnik, and they ran on state of the art laptops. The top programs, Deep Junior in particular, return material much more enthusiastically than the ones Bronstein defeated several years ago, so they're not likely to crash in development either. So it's difficult to know for sure. In either case, Kramnik doesn't play 1. e4 very much, so he has little incentive to try the 3 knights-halloween defense (it's also just not in his style to go sac everything in sight.) Kasparov prefers 1. d4 against computers (so he can enter highly unclear positional openings like the Shirov-Shabalov gambit).
Feb-16-04  popski: After reading this comments I also try to play "The Halloween Attack." against Crafty v19.4 and I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm not a good player and I won this silicon beast! Well, here is the game:
Jul-26-04  horror: The top computers in the world would never fall for "The Halloween Attack/Gambit". Why!? Beacuse they would never play it! They're programmed to avoid openings like this one where there play is less accurate.
Jul-27-04  zb2cr:

Read and heed! A port of "crafty" named "Brause" popularized the "Halloween Attack"!

Aug-24-04  Marvol: <popski> the link to your game doesn't work for me... is that because of me? (half a year old link is expired) <horror> of course computers playing white don't play it themselves, but when they play black they can be forced to.

In general, I am analysing (if you can call it analysing at my level of play)two defenses for black; one is 4. ... Nxe4, keeping the symmetry and forcing white to come up with a decent threat. The other one is (in the main line of play) 5. ... Neg4. This gives black the possibility of sacrifing the Knight on f2, destroying white's king side. 6. f3 then seems to be best for white, but I haven't looked into that move yet. The position becomes quite volatile here if white doesn't play 6.f3. 6.f3 does take away from some of whites offensive power, blocking the diagonal for the Queen, but it also secures the e-pawn. Play might get quiter after this.

Since it seems that once black starts retreating (Ng6,Ng8) white clearly has the upper hand, I reasoned that if black wants equal play he should avoid this retreating at all, hence I am looking at earlier and more active defences than after move 6 or 7.

Sep-01-04  ForeverYoung: Great game popski! Love the annotations. I may try that opening next time I play downtown. Paul
Sep-05-04  popski: <Marvol> oh, no you are ok, but my little daughter sometimes like to press on/off button on my home computer when I'm not near... :) Thank you <ForeverYoung>, I wish you a lot of fun with this wild opening.
Apr-16-05  Whitehat1963: Excellent game that features the Halloween Attack. Does anyone know why it's called that? (Interesting discussion about using this opening against computers)
Apr-17-05  THE pawn: How can I play against crafty?
Apr-17-05  aw1988: You can't play against crafty, but check out Little ChessPartner.
Apr-19-05  THE pawn: Hey thanks, that's great.

Right now I got 2 victories and 1 defeat, not so bad, considering this is a machine with a ELO around the 2000s...

Say, how can you make a link in a conversation? Like you did for little partner.

Apr-19-05  hintza: <THE pawn> <how can you make a link in a conversation?> All you need to do is right-click the link and paste it into your post somewhere. Hope I made that clear and you get what I mean. :-)
Dec-15-05  MorphyMatt: I just beat Thinking Machine 4:

(as white)

1.e4 Nc6
2.d4 e5
3.dxe5 Nxe5
4.Nf3 Nxf3+
5.Qxf3 Bb4+
6.c3 Be7
7.Bc4 Bf6
8.e5 Qe7
9.0-0 Bxe5
10.Bf4 Bxf4
11.Qxf4 Kd8
12.Bxf7 Nh6
13.Bb3 Qf6
14.Qg3 Nf7
15.Nd2 Nd6
16.Rfe1 c5
17.Rad1 b5
18.Nf3 Nf5
19.Qg4 c4
20.Bc2 Nh6
21.Qh5 Ba6
22.Qd5 Kc7
24.Re7 Qb6
25.Rxg7 Bc8
26.Ne5 Bxd7?
29.a3 Rf8
30.Rd6 Nf5
31.Rc6+ Kd8
32.Rxh7 Re8
33.Kf1 Rf8
34.Bxf5 Rxf5
35.Rxb6 Kc8
36.h4 Ra5
37.h5 Rf8
38.h6 Rg8
39.Rg7 Rd8
40.h7 Rd1+
41.Ke2 Rd8
42.Rg8 Kc7
43.Rxd8 Kxb6
44.h8=Q Kb7
45.Qf6 Kc7
46.Qd6+ Kb7
47.Rb8+ Ka7

Comments/analylisis etc. welcome!

Does anyone know what rating ThinkingMachine4 is?

Feb-19-07  Rubenus: <MorphyMatt>: looowwww ... even I can beat him. Jester is a much better online engine: If you want to post a game you played against Jester go to Jester (Computer).

<Marvol> This is the best defense (recommended by Euwe): Opening Explorer

Nov-22-07  leow: <sneaky> lol i tried a complete closed pawn position with two extra rooks for white. only way to progress was to offer both rooks to make room for pawn advance. to my surprise, fritz did not take a rook so it would have gone to a draw. i was impressed, played om a few more moves and then rotfl fritz resigned!

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